Personal Development Budget at PGS Software – How Does It Work?

April 26, 2021 Sylwester Zimon

Starting from March 2021, PGS Software employees may use an individual development budget of up to PLN 6,200 annually.

The budget can be allocated not only for conferences or language courses. We wanted to provide an in-house, wide array of attractive trainings, easily accessible to our employees. This is how Learning & Development was created, i.e. a range of trainings in soft, business, and technical skills to choose from. How does it all work?

 

Development is essential

 

In addition to honesty and humbleness, development is one of the three values that make up the PGS Software culture. What does this word mean? Working on interesting projects and for various industries? That too, but development in this meaning is offered in many workplaces. At PGS Software, we take on new responsibilities and work in a way that allows us to learn as much as possible. The purpose behind this approach is to make everyone admit at the end of the year that they have learned something new.

Development also involves its very options that have changed and systemized over the years. The introduction of development budgets is our most recent novelty but what has always made us stand out was a major focus on internal knowledge exchange. Over the years, we have organized thousands of workshops and hundreds of lightning talks, established technological guilds, developed tools such as the Technology Radar, received hundreds of certificates, participated in numerous courses, and invested in building up the company’s book collection. We have shared the knowledge we acquired with others from outside the company by organizing Software Talks workshops and meetings.

 

How does a development budget work?

 

An individual development budget is based on simple and transparent rules. Each PGS Software employee receives annually up to PLN 6,200 as a development budget, explains Mateusz Nicpoń, QA Manager. Part of this amount can also be exchanged for days off to go for a conference or attend a training during working hours.

 

development-budget

 

The budget serves the purpose of acquiring new skills and deepening one’s technical or business interests. In addition to the budget, we give our employees a chance to receive certificates that meet the company’s current needs (including ISTQB, AWS, Azure), attend the guild meetings or courses on Pluralsight, Udemy or Linuxacademy platforms. Individual and group obligatory trainings taking place as part of our Learning & Development offer (e.g. working in Scrum, cooperation with the client, getting used to the role of Tech Leader, etc.) are also off-budget.

 

What is Learning & Development?

 

Learning & Development is a wide range of trainings to develop technical, business, leadership, and mentorship skills. In a nutshell, Learning & Development covers everything relating to development at PGS Software.

At PGS Software, we require that our employees constantly develop and acquire new knowledge, explains Patrycja Dacko, Learning & Development coordinator. We try to provide them not only with technological but also with business and leadership development options. Therefore, we offer soft skill trainings which help us strengthen our competence in cooperation with clients or team management. For example, we have a set of trainings dedicated to Team and Tech Leaders that prepare them to take on these roles in our organization.

When we were working on Learning & Development, we wanted it to help our teams improve their qualifications, but also to ensure high quality of services provided to clients.

 

PGS Upskill technical mentorship

 

PGS Upskill, an intensive development program based on mentorship, is also included in the budget, but its cost is nominal compared to courses and training available on the market. When creating it, we were driven by the thought that the best mentors are actually among us because no one knows better what challenges we face. We also assumed that learning must be focused primarily on practice and knowledge that we can later use in projects at PGS Software.

Almost 100 people have already participated in PGS Upskill. Most of them successfully use the knowledge gained during the Upskill in commercial projects, says Antoni Orfin, Solutions Architect and PGS Upskill coordinator.

Upskill topics are selected to match the company’s business needs and the changing realities of the IT world. Therefore, we launched Upskills to develop competence in Cloud Solutions, DevOps, Data Science, Frontend and QA, etc. The program combines both systemic solutions that guarantee training effectiveness and a mentor’s individual approach to each participant. Therefore, the program participants get exactly what they need, and in return, they give high marks to mentors and Upskills in evaluation surveys.

Regardless of the PGS Upskill program, in 2019 alone, we held over 500 workshops, and over 200 employees reached higher seniority level.

As you see, there are many development opportunities at PGS Software. If you want to take advantage of them, check who we are looking for.

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